En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - September 01, 2009

From: Glen Allen, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrubs for house landscaping in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like suggestions for types of shrubs to be planted in front of my house.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants suggests that you visit the Recommended Species page on our webpage and select your state from the map or the pulldown menu.  This will give you a list of commercially available native plants suitable for landscapes in Virginia.  You can then use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the results by choosing 'Shrub' from the GENERAL APPEARANCE option.  You can also add your choice for other criteria (e.g., under LIGHT REQUIREMENT and/or SOIL MOISTURE).  Since I don't know what the light and moisture parameters for your yard are, I will suggest a few shrubs with a variety of growing requirements.  You can check those against your site's conditions.  You can also see for yourself if there are other possibilities in the Recommended Species list. 

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea) is a small (up to 3 ft.) with small white flowers in the spring.

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood) is described as a large shrub or tall tree (up to 35 ft.).  It has white flowers that make berries that attract birds.

Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) is a large evergreen shrub (12-20 ft.) with pink flowers in the spring.

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush) is a 6-12 ft.shrub with aromatic leaves.

Rhododendron calendulaceum (flame azalea) is 6-12 ft tall with showy orange flowers.

Robinia hispida (bristly locust) grows up to 8 feet tall with pinkish flowers in the spring.


Ceanothus americanus

Cornus alternifolia

Kalmia latifolia

Lindera benzoin

Rhododendron calendulaceum

Robinia hispida

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Plants for pool area in Florida
May 09, 2008 - My husband and I have a pool with 4 planters and are looking for plants that we can put into our screened in pool area. We live in Central Florida and looking for ideas of plants that are slow growin...
view the full question and answer

Hedge for Austin
April 09, 2009 - Hi. I live in West Austin and am having trouble finding plants for our heavily shaded yard (thanks to our beautiful large live oaks). I love glossy, dark green leaves and big flowers. I love the came...
view the full question and answer

Native replacement for bamboo from Houston
May 21, 2013 - I've read one reply where you do not advise using Bamboo as a privacy fence plant. What do you suggest in its place? The suggestions on the one I read will not work for me. Your suggestions were My...
view the full question and answer

Trimming American beautyberry in Austin
December 20, 2009 - I have recently developed an interest in plants and since I work for a country club taking care of all the House & Grounds Maintenance, the landscaping is certainly a part of my work. I have a questi...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas
June 19, 2010 - We have an erosion problem developing on the low side of a gently sloping hill. We are in clay soil at the base of the hill with oaks and pines. We have a right of way that is without trees forty fee...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center